Drow Stepmaker (3.5e Class)

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This class is made as fighter, rescuer or controller of something. Three variants: Greate House figure placed in shadows, brave fighter or insolent scout of the Underdark.

Making a Stepmaker[edit]

Alignment: Any alignment other than Chaotic Good or Lawful evil

Races: Elves, generally. Usually it's a family advantage to secretly have a caster in the clan. People may hide their arcane skills for personal reasons. This is hard. The woman with arcane skills may act like a ranger or any other class. Arcane knowlege is male business in the drow society. She can not ever hope to be House Mother. But she can use her advantage in this life with one rule: "make step safely". No elf character take penalty - no innate ability, two "blank" levels, before (6 and 9). As result character gets 12 level in the end of progress in this class. But not elf get Hit Die d8. "Blank" means no specials, no spells - atack bonus and saving throws grows normaly.

Magic: Arcane Magic users. Divine magic prohibited.

Abilities: Str: 12 Dex: 12 Int: 16 Cha: 14

Strong points: Fighter with Arcane abilities. Charged attack. Innate ability.

Weak points: The need to keep their arcane abilities a secret. Cautious attack. Half energy spells.

Abilities: Some as figther, moderate as spellcaster.

Alignment: You cannot be chaotic good, or lawful evil.

Starting Age: Simple (family training) or Moderate (on one's own / independently).

Table: The Drow Stepmaker

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day Powers
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 1st 2nd 3rd
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Armor Proficiency (light armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 Combat Spell Trigger or Armored Caster 2 1
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 3 1
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Weapon Proficiency (simple weapon), Silk Armor*, Innate Ability
3 2 1
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 Infer Spell or Defensive Study 3 2 1
6th +6 +2 +2 +5 4 2 2 1
7th +7/spell 0 lvl +2 +2 +5 Weapon Proficiency (martial weapon), Armor Proficiency (medium armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
4 3 2 1 1
8th +8/spell 1 lvl +2 +2 +6 Craft Magic, Arms and Armor, or Armored Caster 4 3 2 2 1 1
9th +9/spell 2 lvl +3 +3 +6 4 3 3 2 1 1
10th +10/spell 3 lvl +3 +3 +7 Weapon Proficiency (exotic weapon), Armor Proficiency (heavy armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
4 4 3 2 2 1 1

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (All Skills) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).
Spells per day: Charisma based, Cha-10 is limit for cast (not for study) level of spells. Charisma modifier minus level spells added to the number of possible daily spell (4 max).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Stepmaker.

Unlike other arcanists Stepmakers roam without familiars they also don't have spellbooks. However, other things substitute the spellbook, such as crystals or a unique plaque, a bracelet or necklace. She can make this other things. Like Sorcerers she doesn´t need to prepare daily spells, like Wizards she needs to memorize them. Complete training (knows Spell Mastery) allows to get rid of this weakness and will have no need to memorize (but she can continue to use spell-containers). The number of spells she can know depend of her intellect (see table below).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency depends of level (see table above). Stepmaker can´t use shields. At first she not try to wear medium or heavy armor - too much risk of spell failures. Instead on level 4 she may try to design for self some sort of silk (or spidersilk) 'armor'. Against 4.0 rule it's not armor, a little weight and no penalties, but complect from this (for body, leg, hands) gain to wearer +2 (+4 for spidersilk) AC.

Spells Spells are same to wizards or sorcerers. Stepmaker have innate Arcane Power as Sorcerers and not need in prepare daily spells, but need need to study it like Wizards and hide this fact. They can learn spell and they need to memorize it (level 10 can remove this).

On start knowledge of the schools of magic is limited one selected. Prohibited schools are Divination, Illusion, Necromancy and Conjuration. This prohibition remains if she progresses as wizard or sorcerer. She may learn spells only from selected schools (and Universal).

On 7, 10 levels she can choose additional school of magic that she studies. One school can be choose multiple times - it grants +1 Metamagic Feat (can select). If you train the fighters, you still need to choose the school of magic.

She can progress as Wizard (or Sorcerer) - simple starts from 11 level in this class. All received restrictions remain, limiting the selected class are satisfied, too. But it good chance to learn missing skills. The difference between Wizard and Sorcerer (for Stepmaker progress) is small - just as quickly begin to grow the number of spells the sixth level and in general the number of spells at different levels. At 20 the difference is not - exactly 4 spells per day at each level.
She can progress as Fighter - same (from 11 level) and by same reason.

You can try to pick up well-balanced class of non-standard list 3.5. If the 10th level, the ability of the character meet the criteria, you can progress from 11th in the selected (non-prestige) class. For example Innate Mage.

After 10 level you can change class into 11-level Innate Mage if you selected one magic school three time re (on 1, 7 and 10 level). It school become Innate School. Selects one school time after time lets you choose the bonus skill from Metamagic_Feats. For Innate Mage she must know next feats: Silent Spell and Still Spell. Also must known Empower Spell and Quicken Spell - it can be selected by normal characters progress. After this you can become Innate Mage 11 level with full his benefits exclude there is only 4 (it is Stepmaker restriction) spells per day. Stepmaker benefits saved too.

Any other base class starts from 1st level.

Lighter magic: Half energy spells.

Stepmaker n-th level count as wizard n-th level (or sorcerer), but her spell is easier to resist. Her spells have one half difficulty and effects from normal wizard (count down, normal 1d3 --> 1d1). If you choose a school twice the difficulty of her spell becomes normal. Third choice of the same school makes effects normal.

Lighter magic: Charged attack.

On 7th level and after you can charge your attack with known spell. Level of spell possible for this charge: base attack bonus - 7. This charging is free action (you can charge, attack and move in the round) and counts as spellcast.

After 10 level she can progress as the wizard or as the sorcerer both. In this case she started from eleven class level (previous abilities not give), but future addition: spells per day, caster level, new spell and others - will be as defined for selected class.

Table: Stepmaker Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 2
2nd 2 1
3rd 2 1
4th 3 2 1
5th 3 2 1
6th 3 3 2 1
7th 4 3 2 1
8th 4 4 2 2 1
9th 4 4 3 2 2
10th 4 4 3 2 2 1

Int based - modifier add to count of known spells. Intellect restricts the level of spells that can be explored (Int is equal maximum known spells level).

To use the spell critical Charisma - determines the number of possible spells per day and level.

Cautious attack: Stepmaker deal only one armed attack per round, attack bonus does not matter. Also she can parry only one armed or ranged attack per round. If her base attack bonus became 7 or higher in addition to attack she can "charge" this attack with spell she known. It works as if she cast (on target) spell that normally take one standard action. Wearing weapon does not matter, but attack must be succesfull - at the first miss (or stop of fight) this "charge" vanishes. It means if attack bonus 7 and higher you can attack, cast spell and make standart move. You can't change this "charge" on additional attacks per round. Normally (not stepmaker) character can attack OR cast and moved. Level of spell possible for this charge: base attack bonus - 7.
In summary, high enough instead of multiple attacks per round character makes one, but charged a known spell charge of the remains until an attack is successful and continues Only with base attack bonus 16 you gain additional attack per round (with +1 base attack bonus). You can choose to use it or not (so the charge is not dissipated in the slip). If the character had already been several attacks per round (like a fighter level 6+), after the change of class to this, the rules of this class.
Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat for this class works similarly: it doesn´t give additional off-hand attack but if left hand attack bonus +7 it allows "off-hand charge". Great TWF doesn´t give additional off-hand attack also, instead it removes -2/-2 penalty on attack bonus.
Combat Reflexes with Hold the Line are useful too - attack of opportunity works as usually (one on one opponent). Stand Still in addition to this makes it near perfect - you're just not letting the enemy come close. The class allows you to vary the skill towards close combat or learning spells.


  • No shields, no helmets, no gauntlets.

(bracelets, gloves, frontlet etc allowed)

  • No familiar.
  • No spellbook. Granted materials for spell item:

gems, valuable metal, clean glasses or rare material. Granted form: orb, small statue or cone etc. For example: ancient coin, amber bracelet - is granted.

  • Only 1 attack per round (for detail see above).
  • Can learn spells only from chosen schools.
  • Spells doing only one half normal effects (reselection school removes the restriction).
  • Prohibited schools are Divination, Illusion, Necromancy and Conjuration.
  • Missing feats from two lists below (Combat or Arcane both, levels 1, 7, 10) can be selected only after changing the class to another.

Bonus Feats: At 1, 7, 10, you gain feats depending on type.

Type Level 1 Level 7 Level 10 Special
Arcane Scribe scroll or Combat casting Brew potions or Craft Wondrous Item Craftsman or Spell Mastery Wondrous Items not include rods, wands, staffs; rings, armors, shields, weapons. Anyone can use a wondrous item unless specified otherwise in the description. Of course you can study combat and leave magic for someone else. Both choices will define your future. Missing skills from this list can be selected only after changing the class to another. It is restriction: Choice matters. And you can't select here other Arcane feats (but can do it with normal level-up progression and restrictions).
Fighter Combat Reflexes or Two-Weapon Fighting Hold the Line or Improved TWF Stand Still or Greater TWF Combat Reflexes --> Hold the Line, Two-Weapon Fighting --> Improved Two-Weapon Fighting --> Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. Missing feats from this list can be selected only after changing the class to another. It same as Arcane (above). You can learn Arcane or Fighter or mix it, but missed it missed. You can learn the required later, after a change of class

Already some understanding in this character can define your own ability.

Only one can be select and can be used 1 per Day. Prior to the application of a secondary effect works in plus, after the application (and while the character does not rest) - no effect. You may have one of them:

  1. Innate Charge Normally same as Recharge*, but it is innate power. You can charge items. (not psionic) While power passive and not expended for this day it works on your equpment, slowly adds charges (1/2 caster level spell maximum, 1 charge/per day).
  2. Innate Heal Normally works as Heal, but it is innate power, you are not a cure caster. (not psionic) While power passive and not expended for this day it works on you, slowly heals wounds (1 hit point/per 10 min).
  3. Innate Resist Normally works as Resist Energy, but it is innate ability. (not psionic) While it passive and not expended for this day it add some resist, (1 point in selected energy).
  4. Innate Strike Normally works as True Strike, but it is innate ability. (not psionic) While not expended for this day it add +1 to attack bonus.
  • Wonder you can study normal Recharge Feat.


If aligment changes to chaotic good or lawful evil Stepmaker can't progress in class level.
To reach level 10 (12 or 14 with penalty), it may be advisable to develop a prestige class which allows to develop the fighting qualities without losing the skills of the caster. For example:

The Eldritch Knight - real choice, prestige fighter who not always learns magic (learn new spells and gain spellcaster level).
The Dragon Disciple - if you like to become dragon-like - natural armor and abilities can be valuable.
The best choice anyway - barmaid. But if we stay serious, you can try to continue the development in one of the basic classes.

Epic Stepmaker[edit]

It requires additional levels in another class. It doesn't give new spells or fighters abilities.

  • If you know 9-level spell - you get access to wizard epic spell.
  • If you have base attack +20 - it open for hero fighter epic feat.

Table: The Epic

Hit Die: d

Level Special
+ Int modifier skill points per level.



Bonus Feats: The epic drow stepmaker gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic drow stepmaker bonus feats) every levels after 20th.

Epic Bonus Feat List: .

Drow Stepmaker Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: .

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor

Feat: .

Bonus Feats: .

Gear: .

Gold: .

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Drow Stepmaker[edit]

Religion: .

Other Classes: .

Combat: .

Advancement: .

Drow Stepmakers in the World[edit]


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Drow Stepmaker Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 .
10 .
15 .
20 .

Drow Stepmakers in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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